Latest Test Results Show City of Flint's Water System at 6 PPB for Lead, Well Below Federal Action Level

Contact: Tiffany Brown, brownt22@michigan.gov 517-242-1376
Agency: Environmental Quality

August 3, 2017

Continuing test results show water quality below action level for more than a year now

FLINT, Mich. The 10th consecutive round of Extended Sentinel Site testing for the City of Flint’s water system shows results below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). This latest round of testing shows that 90 percent of the Tier I samples are at or below 6 parts per billion (PPB), which is less than half of the 15 PPB federal action level.  Flint’s water has tested well below standards for over a year. 

“The latest results showing more than 90 percent of Tier I sites – sites that may have a lead service line or are considered high risk – at or below 6 PPB is encouraging because lead levels tend to go up in warmer weather and this round of testing during summer shows that levels are still in line with the positive trend of the water quality’s improvement,” said Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and former interim director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality who remains the principal on Flint water.

These latest extended sentinel site testing results from June 2017 show 90 percent of Tier I samples at or below 6 PPB with 93.3 percent of the samples at or below 15 PPB. The federal standard calls for at least 90 percent to be at or below 15 PPB. A Tier I site is considered at higher risk per federal guidelines. This includes homes that have a lead service line or meet other criteria that make it an eligible location to determine compliance with the federal LCR.

The latest 6-month monitoring period results for the City of Flint between Jan. 1, 2017, and June 30, 2017, was 7 PPB with 94.5 percent of the samples at or below the15 PPB federal action level for lead.  The 90th percentile lead value for the previous 6-month compliance period between July 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016, was 12 PPB. 

While Flint’s water quality has consistently met the federal requirements for safe drinking water, there still remains work to be done on the city’s infrastructure to maintain long-term water quality. 

Out of an abundance of caution, residents are encouraged to use water filters in areas where construction activities are taking place to remove service lines.  The state will continue to provide free water filters, replacement cartridges and water testing kits until service line replacement is completed.  Additionally, sampling efforts will continue since construction activities can potentially cause physical disruptions that may adversely impact lead levels.  Residential water testing is still available for residents who have concerns.

Residents can call 810-238-6700 with questions about filter usage or to schedule a home visit by a Community Outreach and Resident Education (CORE) member. The CORE program was established to ensure Flint residents are properly installing, using and maintaining their water filters and aware of available resources. CORE teams are comprised of hired Flint residents going door-to-door to assist fellow residents.

Residents are reminded to ensure verification of official CORE credentials before allowing an individual into their home.  Credentials include an official blue Flint Water Response Team badge with a security hologram, a GST MichiganWorks! badge with photo identification and a bright yellow vest.  Team members will be ready to and are required to display their two pieces of identification at all times, and especially upon approach of a home. 

The community, local and state officials have reached an agreement that all but two points of distribution (PODs) distributing bottled water will remain open through the summer, and four will remain open on the north, south, east and west sides of the city for the foreseeable future. 

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